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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Hon. Robert P. Dick.
Chapel Hill, N. C, Wednesday, June jth, 1893,
Commencement Day of the University of North Carolina.
GREENSBORO, N. C:
C. F. Thomas, Book and Job Printer,
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Four years ago I attended the celebration of the cen-
tennial of this venerable University, and met with many
college brothers — -young and old- — but only a few college
comrades. We truly had the "feast of reason and the
flow of soul," hallowed and beautified with many cher-
ished memories. Then we formed many new acquaint-
anceships, renewed old friendships, and together pledged
continued and affectionate devotion to our Alma Mater.
That occasion will ever be one of the most pleasant
recollections of my life, as, in memory, it carried me
back over the varied gloom and brightness of intervening
years to the sunny springtime of my early days.
My visits to Chapel Hill recall to my mind some his-
torical facts and local incidents and associations, which
I have read in books of travel, about the old Etruscan
city of Pisa. Tourists inform us that in that venerable
city there is a group of ancient and splendid edifices
around the Campo Santo, which was made holy by many
shiploads of soil brought from Mount Calvary under the
direction of a bishop of the Church of Rome, who had
engaged in the crusades.
Those white marble edifices seem to have withstood
the corroding and decaying agencies and influences of
time, and still have the freshness and beauty of the early
days of their erection — seven hundred years ago. They
truly link the present with the past, as they have wit-
nessed the joys and the sorrows, the labors and achieve-
ments, and the coming and the going of more than
twenty generations. They are enriched and adorned
with some of the finest productions of art during five
centuries prolific in the achievements of splendid genius
and culture ; and they are associated with many import-
ant and interesting events in the history of progressive
learning, literature, science, philosophy and enlightened
In this historic group of edifices there is one — called"
the Baptistery — that is especially attractive and remark-
able for the echoing melodies that are produced within
its walls by tones of the human voice attuned to certain
musical notes and chords. As soon as such tones are
uttered, the awakened and responsive melodies are blend-
ed into echoing harmonies that ripple, roll and swell
through the building like the symphonies of unseen
choirs of rejoicing Cherubim and Seraphim, and then
rise on viewless wings of sweet cadences into the lofty
dome, and then gently pass into the silence of the upper !
distance, on their heavenward way. They were like the
soft, sweet voices of the past that meet in unison in the
heart, with the joys of the present and the hopes and
aspirations of the future, and blend into thrilling and
This Old Campus has some of the agencies and appli-
ances of religious consecration in the morning, evening
and Sabbath chimes of the College bell, calling to prayer
and worship for more than a hundred years; and it is
rich in memories and associations of pleasant incidents
and affectionate friendships that make it to all returning
students "haunted and holy ground.'
The Old Buildings of this University have their pecu-
liar reminiscences of unportrayed scenes and events, and
of unrecorded thoughts, emotions, cares, sorrows, pray-
ers and hopes of their many occupants. They have no
place on the pages of history, but they were inscribed
with vivid distinctness by the diamond pen of memory
in many hearts that are now cold in the grave, in many
hearts that are now feebly throbbing with age and infirm-
ity, and in many hearts illumined with fond hopes and
bounding with vigorous energies. Many of these
thoughts, emotions, aspirations and hopes have been re-
corded in the Lamb's Book of Life.
Were these old College groves inhabited by the Dryads
and Hamadryads of classic fable, they could tell many a
pleasing, suggestive or marvellous story of things which
they had seen, heard or imagined, in sunlight or in
shade or beneath the silent stars in the hours gone by
To me old Gerrard Hall has much of the sanctity of a
baptistery. There I often heard lessons of divine truth
and wisdom from venerated lips that taught me science
and literature in the class-room, and spoke many words
of kindness and sympathy in daily intercourse. There I
received the honors and the parting blessings of my
Alma Mater, as she sent me forth clothed in the strong
panoply which she had wrought, to struggle for fortune
and fame in the battlefields of busy life, and to perform
the duties which I owed to myself, my fellow man, my
country, my God and truth.
The tones of the voices of my college brethren, in that
old sanctuary of learning and friendship — on our grand
Centennial festal day — were not attuned to musical
notes and chords, but they recalled many sunny memo-
ories of the " long ago," which were sweeter to my heart
than the cultured harmonies of sound; and they awak-
ened feelings and emotions of sympathetic affection,
pathos and harmony, as I contemplated the scenes before
me and compared them with my vivid recollections of
"Those days of old when youth was bold,
And time stole wings to speed it,
And youth ne'er knew how fast time flew.
Or knowing did not heed it.
Though gray each brow that meets us now,
For age brings wintry weather,
Yet naught can be so sweet to see
As dear old friends together."
I have come here to-day as a representative of the class
of 1843 — that graduated just fifty years ago. I am glad
again to meet so many of my college brethren, and I
am sad because I greet so few of my former comrades
There is many a spot, many a tree, and many a scene
where, in memory, I can hold communion with them
and feel again the thrill of the oldtime youthful joys.
The little company in the grand army of the generations,
with which I commenced the march of real life, have
nearly all passed over the river, and here amidst similar
scenes of association, enjoyment and employment, I
can serenely and hopefully contemplate the land of the
'• Heavenly Rest," when the dear friends of earth — parted
now — will surely meet again.
The subject of my graduation speech was, " The His-
tory and Resources of North Carolina;" and my patriotic
love and devotion for " The Good Old North State "
have increased with my advancing years, and I feel that
this University has contributed largely to our State en-
lightenment, prosperity, greatness and renown.
In the morning of young manhood I thought that fifty
years was a very long period in individual life. I think
differently now, for it seems but yesterday when I was a
college boy surrounded by loved comrades who were as
vigorous and buoyant with health, joys and ambitious
hopes as the young men I see before me to-day.
While there are in the ways of human life infinite va-
rieties and diversities in individuals, and in domestic, so-
cial and civil relations, still there is much of general
sameness in the incidents, duties, occupations, enjoy-
ments and disappointments of every day-life. We are
told that " History often repeats itself" So the genera-
tion of the present is, in many respects, a repetition of
preceding generations; and so it will be with many
generations to come. The Psalmist has truly said,
" One generation shall praise thy works to another, and
shall declare thy mighty acts."
" Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and thy do-
minion endureth throughout all generations."
Many improved means and methods have been devised
for the convenient and ready communication of instruc-
tion — but no royal road to learning has ever yet been
discovered that affords idlers and laggards easy access
to the rich storehouses of valuable knowledge. There
is no intuitive or spontaneous generation of efficient in-
tellectual power and high moral excellence. Labor is
the divinely imposed destiny of man, and it must be ob-
served and obeyed to attain beneficent results.
The general laws and principles of education are now,
as they have ever been. Arduous effort and ceaseless
judicious culture are required to develop the physical,
mental, moral and spiritual faculties and energies of
mankind into the elements and forces that produce those
practical virtues, disciplined capacities, systematized
knowledge and matured wisdom that will enable them
to enjoy the blessings of this life, and perform aright the
duties of their destiny.
Nature works with sublime slowness in most of her
great productions, and in so doing she yields implicit
obedience and uncomplaining submission to the laws of
her Maker. She teaches mankind many grand lessons
of patience, perseverance and obedience in attaining and
achieving the just ends and purposes of life. As God
has created all things in nature for a definite purpose,
and placed them in that condition, locality and associ-
ation where they will best subserve the objects and plans
of Divine economy, so I firmly believe that God cre-
ated every human being for a specific purpose, and placed
him in that sphere of life wherein — if he yields submission
to divine control — his subsequent conduct and environ-
ments will be such as to enable him to perform his part
in the plans and objects of divine arrangement.
We cannot fully comprehend the ways and dealings of
God with mankind — and as the creatures of His hand,
we should not question His wisdom, goodness, mercy
and love; but as obedient children, in humble faith and
submission, rely upon the precious promises of our Heav-
enly Father, implicitly trusting in the consoling and
comforting words of our Saviour: "What I do thou
knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter."
God is the great Educator of mankind, and this com-
modious, beautiful and magnificent world which He has
created is His grand University. In this world univer-
sity there are four great classes of the human race in
conditions of barbarism, semi-barbarism, civilization and
enlightened civilization. We know nothing of the means
and methods of instruction, advancement and govern-
ment which God employs, except the knowledge which
has been communicated to us by way of personal expe-
rience, reason and science, and by the light of history,
of nature and divine revelation.
We know that while ' Clouds and darkness are round
about Him, righteousness and judgment are the habita-
tion of His throne."
We know that God by the ministry of the Holy Spirit
is ever giving counsel, consolation and comfort to His
believing people; and admonitions, warnings and offers
of reconciliation to those who do not obediently recog-
nize His Fatherhood and the omnipotence of His domin-
ion. We know that He is ever manifesting His wisdom,
mercy, goodness, love and power by the continuous
blessings of His Providences. We know that He has
placed in this world a rich library of inspiration, reveal-
ing His will, precious promises and gracious instructions
and encouragements, so expressed as to be capable of
intelligible translation into every language of mankind,
and suited to the apprehension, taste and culture of every
one in every sphere of life.
In this comprehensive Library we find biographies and
scenes of domestic, social and civic life portrayed in the
instructive simplicity of common speech, and we also
find the terse and graphic narrative of grand events,
the forceful logic that convinces the mind, the sweet
rhythm, harmony and imagery that charm and soothe the
heart, and the sublime poetry and eloquence that thrill
and enrapture the soul.
We know that each day and nearly every hour He dis-
plays on the surface of the earth or in the skies new
scenes of exquisite and inimitable loveliness to cultivate
man's innate sense of the beautiful and afford him per-
We know that He keeps in ceaseless, unwearied and .
unerring operation, under His guiding eye and hand,
the grand and complex machinery of His works in
nature, to preserve this earth as a pleasant, healthful,
beautiful and bountiful habitation for man.
We know that His benificences are seen, felt or heard
by all His creatures, from the smallest to the greates,
to the uttermost part of the earth, from the sunless and
silent depths of the ocean up through the ambient air,
through the sombre, fleecy or radiant clouds, to and be-
yond the munificent and glorious sun and the golden
From God's word and works, and from the lessons
which He has taught in His dealings with the human
race, mankind have derived their profoundest wisdom,
their richest knowledge, their most elevated and refined
principles of morality, their purest literature and their
most enlightened principles and institutions of civil and
religious freedom and government, and of human benev-
olence and charity.
Science is only a human classification of the knowledge
of some of the materials, elements, forces and laws of
nature which have been partially discovered by observa-
tion, experiment, enlightened reason and patient induc-
tion. Any further advancements in this department of
human learning will be but additional acquisitions of
knowledge of the exhaustless elements and unwearied
agencies that abundantly exist and ceaselessly co-oper-
ate with unerring regularity and exactitude in the vast
storehouses and workshops of nature.
The useful arts are only the application of the princi-
ples and laws of science to purposes of convenience,
comfort and enjoyment. The Fine Arts result from the
cultivation of the innate sense of the "beautiful" into
aesthetic tastes, refined perceptions and exquisite skill by
observation and imitation of the objects and scenes in
nature that are everywhere displayed in profuse abund-
ance and in infinite varieties of elegance and loveliness.
Poetry of the highest order is the linguistic expression
of the beauty, rhythm, melody, harmony, grandeur and
sublimity which the discerning eyes and susceptible
hearts of genius have seen, felt or heard in the manifold
work of creation, and which they have found richly
illustrated in the splendid pages of inspiration. Any
further achievements by human effort in the realms of
poetry and the Fine Arts, will be only a fuller and more
glorious apprehension and realization of the everywhere
manifest truth, that God in nature is the primal source,
and He is the continuous and matchless delineator of
" the true, the good and the beautiful." The tendency
of Christian civilization is to enlighten, refine and elevate
the mental, moral and spiritual faculties and energies of
mankind and make them more and more " in the image
of their Maker."
The principles and truths of moral philosophy engaged
the attention and research of some of the wisest and best
sages of the ancient world. Their exalted minds ranged
widely and grandly through the fields of speculative
philosophy and refined idealism, and they expressed
their doctrines in the noblest eloquence of human thought
and language. They discovered and announced many
principles and formed many brilliant conceptions of truth
— that were radiant with light and beauty — but they were
grouped and enfolded in nebulous confusion. Their
finite minds sought in vain to comprehend the Infinite,
and discover the sun and fixed stars of Eternal Truth,
which have been partially disclosed in the sublime teach-
ings of Revelation.
The Bible is the real and copious source of the en-
lightening, purifying and elevating truths and principles
of sound social ethics and personal morality and virtue;
and it also communicates much precious and useful
knowledge, which meditation, prayer and conscientious
application will ever mature into that wisdom which leads
into the ways of pleasantness and into the paths of peace
and immortal blessedness.
History, which teaches instructive lessons of wisdom
and philosophy is only a very incomplete record of God's
dealings with mankind in past ages. In our own expe-
rience and in the light of history God has manifiested
and still manifests some of the thoughts, plans and
purposes of His superintending providence. We can
see the beneficent results which He has evolved and de-
veloped from the wicked, cruel and bloody strifes and
turmoils of hostile and contending nations. In all the
ages there have been continuous conflicts between the
elements and agencies of ^(?<?</ and evil; between inno-
cence, virtue, justice and truth on the one side, and on
the other the baseness, error, wrong, vice and cruelty of
depraved humanity. These conflicts have furnished
many dark and sad stories of poverty, sorrow, suffering,
misery, agony, crime and disasters; but in the course of
the ages we see Victory slowly but surely declaring for
the "good;" everywhere strengthening and enlarging
the fortresses, agencies, armories, store houses and trib-
unals of justice, mercy and truth, and advancing its
cheering, resplendent and protecting banners all along
the lines of human progress.
In the benign and glorious march of Christian civilization
we can readily observe how wisely and mercifully God has
commingled and arranged all the best elements, agen-
cies and influences of humanity into active, harmonious
and progressive forces. In this grand army there are in-
numerable companies formed into distinctive corps and
placed in various fields of service. Their operations in
former times appear to our finite minds to have been in-
congruous, hostile, antagonistic and disastrous, but every
day we can percieve that they are becoming better dis-
ciplined and are rendered more efficient and harmonious.
We see the innocence, guileless affection and joyful
hopefulness of childhood and youth that brighten and
cheer Christian homes and renew the strength and en-
durance of parents and kindred to bear the burdens of
solicitude, sorrow, self-denial and daily toil.
We see the vigor, energy, enterprise and enthusiasm
of young men and women entering upon their untried
pathways of life, eagerly pressing to the forward ranks
and oftentimes ambitiously striving to reach prematurely
Then we see maturer manhood and womanhood in the
heat and burden of the day — in the midst of joys and
sorrows, successes and disappointments — toiling and
struggling in the performance of the essential, arduous
and pleasant duties that surround them, earnestly long-
ing to acquire the means and opportunities for comfort,
contentment and repose.
Then we see the Old Guards — who are God's reserved
forces of society, disciplined in a hundred conflicts,
whose courage, firmness, patient endurance and useful-
ness are elevated and sustained by sturdy virtues, expe-
rience, conservatism, knowledge, wisdom and Christian
In the light of Revelation, science and history, we can
readily see that the God who rules among the armies of
Heaven, and, in the midst of sunshine, calm or storms,
controls the complex mechanism of the physical universe
with unerring regularity and infinite beneficence, rules
also among the inhabitants of earth, and has marshalled
the grand army of Christian civilization, led on by the
Bible Ark of the Covenant, beneath the fiery and cloudy
pillar of His Providence, to the achievement of His
plans and purposes in the onward and upward progress
of human affairs and the advancement of His Kingdom
To-day I have come from the engagements and duties
of the busy world to these fountains and groves of cul-
ture, learning and hallowed memories, to seek refresh-
ment and brief repose, and to speak words of cheer and
encouragement to my young brethren — those who are
now about to depart, and those who will still abide for a
time within the halls and beneath the roof-tress of our
common literary inheritance and home.
I have no words of discouragement to speak, and only
a few words of admonition. Unless you have been pre-
pared tn your parental homes, and have acquired strength,
virtue and wisdom from the mental and moral culture
you have here received, you will soon learn some stern
lessons of disappointment and sorrow in the schools of
You have heard many premonitions as to the trials,
temptations, difficulties and dangers which you will en-
counter in the world of active affairs, and if you will not
heed those warnings from the hearts and lips of those
you love and venerate — words of advice from me would
be as the empty air.
There are many difficulties before you, but they can
be overcome. What man has done, man can do again,
and achieve still grander triumphs. Many temptations
will beset your pathways with alluring promises of pleas-
ures and advantages, but they are generally deceptive,
and can and must be successfully resisted.
If you will meet trials bravely, cheerfully, hopefully
and persistently, you will acquire atrength from conquest,
rather th^n be overwhelmed by the disasters of defeat.
" Do unto others as you would have others do unto you,"
and you will find by the results of experience that this
divine maxim is indeed a "Golden Rule."
If adverse and unfounded prejudices, falsehoods and
criticisms annoy you by their injustice and wrong, time
and the rectitude of your own conduct will generally
furnish an all-sufficient remedy and reparation. If the
infidelity and ingratitude of former friends whom you
had treated kindly and generously trusted, tend to arouse
feelings of bitterness in your heart and to make you lose
confidence in the truth and sincerity of human justice
and friendship, still be lenient in your judgments on the
conduct of your fellow men, and strive — as far as self-
respect will allow — to practice forgiveness, forbearance
and charity, for these are divine virtues and will ennoble
your nature and afford >ou pleasant reminiscences and
an approving conscience.
Manly courage in self-defense, and in vindicating what
is just and true is always admirable and right, but bitter
recrimination and aggressive violence should be avoided,
as far as possible; and retaliation is prompted by a spirit
of revenge and is always wrong, if not odious. If per-
plexities in business disturb you ; if anxieties and sor-
rows in domestic and social life cause you useless
repinings, wasteful wakefulness and many tears ; if you
are surrounded by dangers that threaten overthrow, do
the best yoii can, trust in God and. He will strengthen
your heart, "for in the Lord Jehovah is everlastino-
strength," and " He is mighty to save."
God has made a beautiful, bountiful and beneficent
world for the comfort, happiness and prosperity of His
people, and He has richly bestowed upon them the op-
portunities, facilities and capacities for reasonable acqui-
sition and enjoyment; and it is His good pleasure that
they should possess and employ these Divine bounties
for their own happiness and His glory.
My Young Brothers, who are about to enter upon the
duties of real life, "be of good courage, ' and , with brave,
cheerful and hopeful hearts, go forth to do those duties
and partake of the blessings that so largely abound in
this "goodly land " and heritage which God gave to our
fathers, and has thus far signally preserved to their pos-
terity. Indeed it is a "goodly land " — far exceeding in
natural beauty, richness, vastness, grandeur and sublim-
ity the Promised Land which was given to Israel as their
inheritance and heaven-blessed home.
This magnificent land, unknown to the ancient world
and marked by traces and memorials of departed civili-
zation, was Divinely closed to discovery, exploration
and settlement by modern nations until God had, in the
furnace fires of trial, persecution and oppression — during
dark, disastrous and revolutionary centuries— gradually
developed among men the principles of civil and relig-
ious freedom and enlightened Christianity, and prepared
a people to plant them in the grand forest solitudes of
America and build up the splendid institutions of Christ-
ian civilization in this Great Republic of sovereign and
The wisdom, goodness, mercy and powers of God in
the planting, guidance and preservation of the people of
the United States are so clearly manifested that even
imperfect history seems to be a revelation of His will,
plans and purposes as to the duty and destiny of the
Stand as vigilant, patriotic and heroic guards around
the institutions of civil and religious freedom, which — un-
der the guidance of Omnipotence — our venerated ances-
tors established and we now enjoy. These institutions
were founded upon the principles of truth, justice, integ- ■
rity and Christianity, and they can only be sustained and
preserved by the patriotism, virtue, intelligence and
piety of our people, ever observing the precepts and
commands of our Divine Ruler and Guide.
Mere physical courage, scientific enlightenment, accu-
mulated wealth and natural resources and advantages
will not of themselves make a nation great, prosperous
" Except the Lord build the house they labor in vain
that build it ; except the Lord keep the city the watch-
man waketh but in vain."
Our Christian homes are heritages of the Lord. He
is their Maker and Builder. In them dwell and abide the
purest, dearest and holiest affections and joys of life, that
cheer, bless and urge us onward in our noblest efforts
and aspirations, and enrich our hearts with hallowed
memories. There God in his continuous and merciful
providence lays deep and strong the concrete foundations,
and builds the beneficent superstructures of domestic and
social peace and happiness, and national unity, prosperity,
power and progres. There too our daughters "may be
as cornerstones polished after the similitude of a palace,"
and our sons grow up in their youth and become affection-
ate, intelligent, virtuous, strong and heroic guardians to
defend our gates against the encroachments and assaults
of all our enemies.
In all your efforts to acquire knowledge, wealth, influ-
ence and fame, endeavor to learn what is just and true in
order that you may do what is generous, honorable,
merciful and right. Do all that you can to suppress the
causes and agencies of vice, error, injustice and fraud,
and to alleviate the sorrows and misfortunes that surround
Constantly strive to multiply, strengthen and advance
all the agencies and instrumentalities that contribute to
State and national honor, patriotism and advancement;
— and to the moral, intellectual and Christian enlighten-
ment, prosperity and happiness of your fellow-citizens
and all mankind.
You will always love your childhood home and cherish
the sacred memories that cluster there. With a kindred
affection, love and cherish this University — the early home
of your moral ond intellectual manhood. As your Alma
Mater she has bestowed upon you many rich gifts by
which you ran acquire enjoyment, usefulness, honor and
fame. Strive — as far as you can— to recognize and pay
this debt of gratitude, by sustaining her reputation, pro-
moting her honor, and increasing and enlarging her in-
fluences and resources, so that she may be able to bestow
richer blessings upon her future sons and make them
wiser, stronger, better and nobler than their elder broth-
ers who have so largely contributed to her fame.
All the moral and intellectual efforts of past ages have
enriched and strengthened the present generations with
marvellous acquisitions and wondrous power with which
they are entering into the more valuable treasure-houses
and sublimer possibilities of the future. There will be
no halt in the march of progress, — it will be ever onward
and upward to higher and broader fields of knowledge,
to grander deeds and more beneficent achievements.
Love the dear "Old North State" — the foster mother
of this University. Love her as the exiled Jew — in every
clime of his wanderings — loves the now desolate and op-
pressed land of his early fathers. Love her, as the Swit-
zer loves his fertile valleys, shining lakes and grand
mountains. Love her, as the German race love the
"Fadderland." Love her, as the Scotchman loves his
"bonny banks and braes" — his heathery hills and misty
Highlands. Love her, as the sons of Erin love the
Emerald Isle — consecrated by genius and heroism, and
endeared to the hearts of all friends of freedom, justice
and humanity, by warm sympathies awakened by her
many wrongs, sorrows and misfortunes.
Love North Carolina, as our patriot fathers loved her
when they went from their forest homes to struggle and
die as heroes for her freedom and her fame. Love her,
as her " Boys in Gray" loved her — when cold, ragged and
hungry they did loyal service in the deadly trenches andi
on the dangerous picket lines; — when foot sore and wearyj
they toiled in summer and winter along the hot, gloomy,;
painful and rugged march; — when prostrated by diseasej
or wounds they languished on rude beds in hospital wards
or in prison cells, yearning for the kind words, the sym-
pathetic eyes, the tender hands, and the sweet kiss of
loved onesat home; — yes, — love herastheydid when their
gallant spirits ascended to heaven amidst the smoke, the
roar and blaze of the battle conflict. Patriotism is only
an enlarged love for humanity and home — kindred to the
noblest virtues that elevate and adorn human character.
My Young Brothers: May God bless and keep you.
May He cause His face to shine upon you, and help you
to discharge aright your duties to Him, to your fellow-
men, to your country, to yourselves and to humanity and
" Labor, dream, endure, achieve aspire
Give your lives as Heaven sees best,
Strive to conquer till your work is done
Then you'll find peace, joy and rest."
My Friends and Fellow-citizens, who, by your presence
have honored my Alma Mater on this one of her gala
days, I assure you of our sincere thankfulness and appre-
ciation and of our most cordial welcome. I have a few
words of encouragement and counsel as to our common
duties and opportunities as citizens and philanthropists.
We are now entering upon a very momentous epoch.
The year 1893, will in the future, be regarded as one of
the most memorable and beneficent eras in human his-
tory. As I stand here to-day and look back over the
past fifty years, I am bewildered, astounded and enrap-
tured, as in mental vision, I behold the grand panorama
of the marvellous events and the munificent and splendid
achievements of Christian civilization.
During that period more has been accomplished for the
Christian enlightenment, elevation, happiness, prosperity
and freedom of mankind than in all the preceding years
of the four centuries which have elapsed since the keels
of the caravels of Columbus touched the fragrant autumnal
shores of the West Indian Isles.
But as I look forward with the optimistic eye of pa-
triotic, philanthropic and Christian hope I can catch
gleams of the glories of the coming generations, and I
bid them "All hail and welcome."
From all the events that have occured and will occur,
from all the things that have been and will be thought,
said, done and felt in the United States during this year,
I think I am warranted in indulging in the brightest and
most hopeful anticipations.
All the great nations of the world have sent war-ships
to our shores as heralds of comity and good will. They
have passed our marine fortresses unharmed — rejoicing
voices and resounding salvoes have welcomed them into
our ports and havens; and they have commingled in
harmonious intercourse with the splendid ships of our
gallant and courteous navy. Their banners — emblems
of nationality and power — have floated on our breezes
and cast their peaceful shadows upon our playful waters.
The flash and roar of their cannon have been seen and
heard with admiration, and without alarm — as their
voices of war had become voices of peace.
The assembled representatives of the navies of the
world presented a magnificent array. Never before has
there been seen such a congress of the Iron Clad Mon-
archs of the deep, exchanging the cordial courtesies of
amicable relations. They have a common home upon
the ocean, they freely range in every clime, and I sin-
cerely hope that no causes will ever occur to disturb their
friendly relations and bring them into deadly and dis-
Our railroads, steamboats, towns and cities are teeming
with representatives of all races and climes, who are
mingling with our people in friendly intercourse, and in
the ways and relations of business, trade and commerce.
On the Exposition Grounds at Chicago many com-
modious and elegant edifices and halls have been erected
and furnished where merchants, manufacturers, mechan-
ics, engineers, artists, scientists, educators, philanthrop-
ists, moral reformers and evangelists of Christianity, from
ever> land, may have opportunities and facilities of
holding association and conference in their peculiar
spheres of- interest, inclination, employment and duty;
and devise means and methods for the advancement and
accomplishment of their business plans and purposes, or
their beneficent and benevolent designs.
There are also numerous extensive and magnificent
Exposition buildings in which the best, richest, most
useful and most splendid productions of the industry, en-
terprise, skill, intellect and genius of all nations are col-
lected, arranged and elegantly displayed — not for the
purposes of eager and selfish commercial competition but
in a spirit of national pride and generous emulation.
Manifold advantages will accrue to the representatives
of all nations participating in the Columbian Exposition
at Chicago. It will be the means of bringing the mental,
moral, religious and business elements, agencies and
forces of various nationalities and forms of civilization
into comparison with the blessings, trophies and triumphs
of peace which have been achieved under our benign
institutions of civil and religious freedom and Christian
Our people will receive much valuable knowledge from
the older nations of Europe who earlier possessed the
rich stores of the treasures of thought, learning and art
which came down from classic antiquity, and whose
civilizations were developed by industry, enterprise, ex-
perience and assiduous culture during eventful ages, in
the midst of proud, suggestive and inspiring historic
scenes and localities, consecrated by the highest efforts
of genius and heroism, and associated with the magnific-
ent memorial relics ot Mediaeval and Renaissance cen-
We will derive many benefits even from the nations
which we have regarded as heathen and semi-barbarous.
Our race prejudices will be greatly modified, and our
mental and moral views will be much enlarged in scope
and liberality. We will become more cosmopolitan and
philanthropic in our charities of opinion, and in the kind-
liness of our commercial and social relations. We will
believe more in the kinship of humanity and in the pos-
sibilities of universal brotherhood among all the races of
The foreigners who come to our shores will witness
the manifold productions of our energy, enterprise, skill,
intellect, industry and moral virtue, and they will see, in
some degree, the conveniences, comforts, pleasures, lux-
uries, and advantages which we possess and enjoy as a
free, enlightened and Christian people. They will see
them in our happy, contented and prosperous homes; — in
our active marts of successful trade and commerce; — in
our busy worshops and manufactories where free labor is
employed in various profitable and useful industries; — in
our country dwellings surrounded by gardens, orchards,
vineyards, fertile fields and green pastures yielding the
varied and abundant products of agricultural pursuits; —
in our thriving villages, towns and splendid cities; — in our
well equipped and wisely managed schools, colleges and
universities enriching and elevating the minds and hearts
of our people with valuable knowledge, liberal culture
and many virtues; — in our hospitals and homes for the
sick and the poor; — in our large and commodious institu-
tions for the afflicted and unfortunate; — in our Sabbath
Schools where children are guided in the ways of knowl-
edge, morality, virtues and piety and their young hearts
are made joyous by singing the melodies of Christian
minstrelsy; — in our numerous benevolent associations en-
gaged in all the paths of life — in rescuing the tempted,
restoring the fallen, and giving hope, courage and help
to those who are bowed down by the despondencies and
burdens of misfortune.
They will see our churches of all denominations active-
ly and earnestly endeavoring — by virtuous examples, lib-
eral gifts and many efficient agencies, — to circulate the
Bible in all languages, and to inculcate, at home and in
every land, the enlightening and elevating truths and
principles of this Gospel of Christianity. They will also
learn from observation, and from thousands of eloquent
voices, that the sectarian bigotry and antagonism which
once existed to such a large extent among the various
denominations, — retarding the progress of the kingdom of
God, — are now rapidly passing away, and giving place to
feelings and associations of brotherly kindness and
The instinctive love of justice and freedom is implanted
by God in every human heart and it will be kindled
into a warmer glow in the bosoms of citizens of lands of
oppression and wrong, when they witness and apprehend
more fully the grand political truth of humanity — so
clearly taught and so splendidly illustrated by our Great
Republic — that a free, virtuous, enlightened and Christ-
ian people are capable of self-goverement, and of Divine
right, ought to exercise this God given privilege and
These suggestive objects, ideas, examples and associa-
tions, and the cordial welcome and fraternal courtesies
extended to foreigners during this year will tend greatly
to transfer to other lands germinating and developing
principles, truths, ideas, feelings, agencies and influ-
ences that will produce many changes, innovations,
improvements and beneficences in all the departments of
other civilizations and conditions of society, and rapidly
advance the progress of Christian enlightenment, regen-
eration, emancipation and evangelization among all the
races of mankind, and bind them in the bonds of Christ-
Any student graduating at this Commencement, if he
be so fortunate as to live the next fifty years, and shall
enjoy the privilege I do here to-day, of contemplating
views of retrospection and anticipation, he will find that
my seemingly extravagant forecast has been far exceeded
by splendid realities.
Fortunate, indeed, will be the generations of thecoms-
ing ages, as in succession they progressively reach, — in
their onward march, —the new, rich and expanding fields
of literature, art and science; partake of the new and
manifold comforts, conveniences and luxuries that indus-
try, enterprise, skill, intellect and genius have contrib-
uted to human health and enjoyment, — and rise to higher
and higher elevations of Christian light, knowledge, vir-
tue, charity and spirituality, ever approaching, — in the
midst of increasing splendors, — the period of ultimate
magnificence foreshown to prophetic vision and sublimely
predicted by inspiration.
" For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of
the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea."
A NATIONAL PEACE JUBILEE.
Read by Hon. Robert P. Dick, on June 7th, 1893, the Com-
mencement Day of the University of North CaroUna, and the fiftieth
anniversary of liis graduation. Prepared by combining original lines
with copious extracts from a recent poem by Mr. Hezekiah Butter-
"The dawn of new ages is breaking,
The cycle of concord has come.
There is peace in the echoing bugle,
And a festival march in the drum."
The bugle blast and the drum beat
Cheered hearts that were noble and brave
As they fought for freedom and home
In the land — God their fathers gave.
Now they cheer us in the efforts
That our noblest powers employ,
To win the earth by kindness
For freedom's blessings and joy.
The air is vocal with joyous strains.
Advancing light new hope is revealing.
Faces glow with kindness and gladness
For the beams of the Day Spring are healing.
The hum of labor, the scream of the engine.
The loud roar of the rushing train
Show new thought, and emotions throbbing
In the public heart and brain.
Splendid processions with music are moving.
In the pride and pomp of martial array
They bear aloft their industrial banners.
The noble triumphs of peace to display.
Floral wreaths and garlands are carried.
Woven by hands of beauty and skill,
They breathe the pure, sweet fragrance of home
And hearts with love and energy fill.
Fresh ardor is kindled by eloquent voices
As past and future glories are told.
Love of country is warmed with a fervor,
While life lasts will never grow cold.
Booms of welcome from cannon are sounding.
Chimes of bells are harmonious and grand,
For nations have come here to meet us
In the realms of our beautiful land.
The races have gathered as kinsmen,
Their voices of friendship now ring
Over plains, valleys and highlands.
As the products of their labor they bring.
Bring to the shrines of freedom
To honor the grand heroes who gave
This land for the dwelling of freemen —
This land where breathes not a slave.
Hallowed memories now greet us.
We are proud of those patriot sires
Who built here the temples of freedom
And kindled their altar fires.
They came from the eastward climes.
From lands of appression and wrong,
God guided their ocean pathways,
And made them successful and strong —
Strong to do justice and right.
Strong to proclaim doctrines of peace
That will give to other nations
Blessings that never shall cease.
We will be true to the mission
Which our Fathers as heroes began.
And keep this heritage of heaven
As a home of freedom for man.
Gospel truth is liberty's sunlight.
In other lands was the cloudy dawning,
But here shines the full glories of freedom,
This is the blest land of the morning.
O! land of beauty and richness.
Home of the brave and the free.
Send your west winds laden with balm.
To welcome voyagers over the sea;
Welcome them to your genial clime,
Where freedom such blessings has brought.
To your homes of contentment and peace.
Where the truths of the Gospel are taught;
To your wide realm where free labor can win
The wealth that independence will give.
Where wise laws and justice ever prevail,
And in equality of rights they can live.
To your schools and churches that teach
How best to perform the duties of life,
And make the nation happy and great
And lessen the evils of error and strife
They come with affectionate fondness
Where homes of peace are strongly secured.
And no form of oppression long can injure,
No gross wrong will long be endured.
For noble, brave freemen are the masters,
The source of their just power is divine.
The ballot box speaks their mandates,
A free Bible is their voiceful shrine.
The greetings of the people are cordial,
Their hearts with good emotions are glowing
And all nations with wonder observe
How the brotherly feeling is growing.
Among churches more Christian concord is seen,
And their labors of love are widely extending
Through this land and over the seas.
The Gospel's glad tidings they are sending.
With hearts full of thanksgiving we feel
That "A Year of Jubilee" truly has come,
And the nations are present to hail it
With joyous acclaim in Liberty's Home.
"The joys that our bosoms are thrilling,
The hearts of all ages shall share.
The warships and peaceships" are mingling
And floating their flags in the air.
"The skies of good will bend over them,"
With joy the waters seem swelling;
Their sails are kissed by the breezes
That messages of welcome are telling,
" Liberty high her banner hath lifted,"
Emblazoned with the beams of the sun.
"It floats for the new years of heaven,
The brotherhood — fraternity has won."
Now all races in spirit are blending,
"For man move the cycles sublime
The summons fol^ peace is ascending
From the jubilee trumpets of time."
The star flag — the herald of freedom
Has the sunlight of hope on its brow.
" It floats for the best of all ages,
And the best of all ages — is now.
That to man may be given his birthright,
To knowledge — the future that waits.
Equality — freedom to labor,
And labor the wealth it creates.
That the temples of truth for their Master
By charity's feet may he trod.
That hearts that are humble and human,
May do the swift service of God.
Fraternity! rise to thy mission,
The noblest since order began.
Till the nations are brothers united
In one federation of man.
The future stands waiting to greet thee,
And battle her standards has furled."
Columbia's flag in gladness is floating.
Her sons and her daughters are shouting
Hail! Welcome! Peace to the World.